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Fam Pract Manag. 2015 Nov-Dec;22(6):39.

Author disclosure: no relevant financial affiliations disclosed.

Earring removal


A patient came in to the office two to three weeks after having the upper pinna of her ear pierced twice. Her skin had completely healed over the backs of the earrings, and I performed an incision of the pinna for removal of the earrings. Should I report this procedure as removal of a foreign body, and if so, what ICD-10 codes are applicable?

The earrings should be considered superficial foreign bodies, and codes S00.451A (right ear) and S00.452A (left ear) are used to report an initial encounter for superficial foreign body of the ear (including the pinna). The ICD-10 alphabetic index for retained foreign body (superficial without open wound) directs readers to see foreign body, superficial, ear (S00.45-). Because an incision was necessary to remove the earrings, use the procedure code 10120 or, if the procedure was complicated, code 10121. If removal of a foreign body does not require incision, the work is included in the evaluation and management service that is reported.

Removing stitches


What is the correct ICD-10 code for an encounter to remove stitches from a wound to the leg when the original procedure was performed in the emergency department?

This service should

About the Author

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Cindy Hughes is an independent consulting editor....

Author disclosure: no relevant financial affiliations disclosed.

These answers were reviewed by members of the FPM Coding & Documentation Review Panel, including Kenneth Beckman, MD, MBA, CPE, CPC; Robert H. Bösl, MD, FAAFP; Marie Felger, CPC, CCS-P; Thomas A. Felger, MD, DABFP, CMCM; Emily Hill, PA-C; Joy Newby, LPN, CPC; and Susan Welsh, CPC, MHA.


Send questions and comments to, or add your comments below. While this department attempts to provide accurate information, some payers may not accept the advice given. Refer to the current CPT and ICD-10 coding manuals and payer policies.


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